According to my AP Style Guide, the go-to reference for journalists and public relations writers alike, “anti-abortion” is the term that should be used in reference to those people who say that a fetus is human and should not under any circumstances be killed.
Anti-abortion is an accurate term for most of the people that campaign against abortion and the abortion industry. Yet, most Christians prefer to call themselves pro-life rather than anti-abortion. The connotations offer a more positive image: no one likes to be “anti” something. In the battle for public opinion it’s better to be “pro” anything.
But, I am afraid that for many Christians that is where the logic stops. They want to be called “pro-life” because they do not want to be labeled “anti-abortion”. Most of us don’t stop to realize the true significance of calling ourselves “pro-life”.
When we call ourselves “pro-life”, we’re not only saying that a fetus is a human with certain unalienable rights, among them life. We’re also saying that the birthmother is a valuable human who is obviously in a tough situation and needs love, support, and care--not judgement and humiliation. (Proverbs 31:8-10)
When we call ourselves “pro-life”, we can’t stop at telling mothers they should respect the life in their womb. We have to be the support system for birthmothers; we have to be the adoptive families; we have to be the communities that love single mothers; we have to be the churches that love everyone in spite of the life choices that have been made. (James 1:27)
When we call ourselves “pro-life,” we can’t stand by and watch people mistreating the elderly, people who are mentally unstable, and children who have no families to love them. (Zechariah 7:9-10)
If we do not support the right for everyone to live, then we can not in good conscience call ourselves pro-life. We must consistently be for life.
I think we can take it even one step further--if you do not support the right for anyone be they criminal, cop, terrorist, saint, or innocent bystander to live--then you absolutely can not call yourself pro-life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 describes how there is a time for everything. That every emotion, every feeling has a time and a place. Weeping, mourning, laughter, and rejoicing all have their time. Romans 12:15 tells Christians to weep with those who weep. Luke 10:25-37 preaches with the parable of the Good Samaritan that even the enemies we’ve created around us should be treated as beloved neighbors.
The Bible consistently teaches that Christians should be the most compassionate and loving people on the planet, and that doesn’t stop with the unborn children being murdered in our country. It doesn’t stop with the cops being murdered. It doesn’t stop with black Americans being murdered. It doesn’t stop with refugees drowning. It doesn’t stop with hospitals being bombed. It doesn’t stop with the millions of people being exploited through human trafficking.
It doesn’t stop.
Christ never stopped loving people, and neither should Christians.
My very, very favorite parable that Jesus told is in Matthew 18:21-35. It’s Peter asking Jesus how often he has to forgive people. Peter is looking for a magic number that would allow him to hold a grudge against people. And, I feel like that’s me, and from some social media stalking, I think some of you feel the same way. It may not be slights directed against us, but we’re tired of people dying, people blaming others, and having to constantly love a world that hates us. Jesus tells an incredibly convicting story, so y’all go read it right now.
Back? Good. It’s about forgiveness, and I have written in the margin of my Bible, “How can we deny grace that we have been so graciously and constantly shown?”
How can we as Christians choose who is worthy of forgiveness?
How can we decide whose life is more valuable?
To call yourself pro-life is to decide that every murderer, every terrorist, every cop, every serviceman, every criminal, every child no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, or nationality is worthy of love and has a life to be valued.
So are you pro-life? Or are you just anti-abortion?
Romans 12: 14-21
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.